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One of the cities we adore at LOCK & enjoy! is Paris. And it’s no coincidence, as it’s one of the most beautiful in the old continent. Its buildings are exquisite, its lifestyle imbued with a certain bohemian flair, and it holds a rich history. If you’re keen on delving into its intricacies, start with these fascinating facts and its 8 curiosities.

8 Curiosities About Paris You Should Know

Exploring the City of Lights is an excellent idea as it offers a wide array of activities. You can visit its museums, indulge in its rich cuisine, or admire it from above by ascending the Eiffel Tower. The experience is bound to leave a lasting impression, we assure you.

Origin of the Name

The name originates from an ancient Gallic tribe: the Parisii. They inhabited the current historical heart of the city, Île de la Cité, where the Notre Dame cathedral stands. Their settlement was well defended, situated on an island in the middle of the Seine. Additionally, it held a strategic position near various thoroughfares.

Eventually, they were conquered by the Romans who founded a new settlement: Lutetia Parisiorum. Over time, it would come to be known as Civitas Parisiorum or City of the Parisii, while in the Middle Ages, its inhabitants shortened the name to what we know today.

Fear of the Number Thirteen

Paris’s growth lends itself to many anecdotes, but one revolves around triskaidekaphobia, the fear of the number thirteen. During the French Revolution, the city was divided into different districts for administrative purposes. However, authorities of the time stopped at twelve out of sheer superstition.

Nevertheless, over time, the fear of the city falling into disfavor waned, and today there are 20 districts, each divided into 100 departments.

The Statue of Liberty

You might be thinking of the iconic statue in New York, but there are replicas. One stands on the Swan Island in Paris and is much smaller in size. It was donated by the American community in Paris in 1889 to commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution. Originally, it faced east, but it was turned westward in 1937.

One of its most interesting details is the tablet it holds in its left hand. On it, you can read an inscription that says: IV Juillet 1776 and XIV Juillet 1789. The former refers to American independence, and the latter is the day the Bastille was stormed. This discovery surprised us at LOCK & enjoy!

A Giant Guillotine

The guillotine is, unfortunately, one of the symbols of the French Revolution. At the 1889 Universal Exhibition, a competition was held for the construction of a monumental work. Among the different ideas, a guillotine 274 meters high was proposed. Can you imagine it towering over the rest of the buildings? Fortunately, the winning structure was the Eiffel Tower.

The City of Light

It’s one of the epithets Paris holds, with a rather curious origin. Therefore, at LOCK & enjoy!, we’ll explain it to you. Until the 19th century, nighttime was relatively dangerous for city dwellers, as you never knew who might be lurking to rob you. To address this problem, a mayor of the French capital had the idea to install gas lamps. Thus, it became the first city in the world to have public lighting. Hence the appellation.

The Seine Beach

Despite Paris not being on the coast, as it is situated 142 kilometers away, it does have a beach. To cope with the summer heat, the city council dumps several tons of sand near the river. This allows citizens to enjoy some sunbathing.

The Kilometer Zero

It’s in front of the Notre Dame cathedral, although it’s not the center of France. The so-called Point Zéro is used to calculate the distance of the city’s roads. Additionally, Parisians say that the place attracts good luck, and if you step on it, you’ll return. From LOCK & enjoy!, we assure you that you’ll want to make more than one visit.

The Latin Quarter

To conclude, to the south of the Île de la Cité awaits one of the liveliest neighborhoods: the Latin Quarter, whose origin will surprise you. Its name is not because its inhabitants come from Latin America but because it started to be called that in the Middle Ages. At that time, it was full of Latin students, who left a strong mark.

What do you think of the 8 curiosities about Paris that we’ve compiled for you at LOCK & enjoy!? As you can see, there are many stories to tell about the city of the Seine. And if you’re planning to visit, don’t forget to store your luggage in a locker or in our lockers in Paris.

Victor Salgado

CEO of LOCK & enjoy! and tourism expert, with experience in leading hotel chains such as Hyatt, Marriott, or IHG. His mastery of Oracle's Opera and its integrations drive excellence in management through any tourism software.